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Vishva Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics
Vishva Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics
Description
From the Jacket

Vishva Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics provides a detailed historical account of the VHP, one of the leading Organisations in the Hindutva movement. It focuses on the VHP's transformation from a loosely knit body of Hindus aimed at preserving and promoting Hindu dharma, into a mass organisation actively involved in mobilizing the urban middle classes, service professional and religious leaders for the creation and promotion of a strong Hindu nation.

In elaborating this transformation, Manjari Katju specifically looks at: the VHP's programmes immediately prior to the demolition of the Babri Mosque and in its immediate aftermath; the aggressive and communal idiom employed by it during the nineties; its contestation of the secular structure of the Indian state; its negative politicization of the activities of the Christian missionaries; and, crucially, the changing relations between the VHP and the RSS, on the one hand, and the BJP on the other, which informs the analysis of this transformation.

Rich in empirical data, the book contains extensive quotations from fifty interviews carried out for this study, including those with central figures in the VHP such as Praveen Togadia and Ashok Singhal and members of related Organisations. For all those who seek to know more about the VHP and to understand the ideological and political space occupied by Hindutva in recent years, this book is a must read.

About the Author

Manjari Katju is currently Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Hyderabad. She did her doctoral research at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Dr Katju received the Dr D. C. Pavate Fellowship to conduct research at the Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge in 2002.

Preface

Vishva Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics is a revised and condensed version of my doctoral dissertation. The Vishva Hindu Parishad and Hindu Nationalism: 1964 to 1996, that was submitted to the School or Oriental and African Studies, London, in 1998. The spectacular expansion of the popular base of Hindu nationalist politics in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the centrality of the Vishva Hindu Parishad-or the World Hindu Council, henceforth the VHP-in it, spurred my interest in the VHP organisation. The close association of my grandfather, Shiv Nath Katju (1910-1996) with the VHP, first as a member and then as its president in the late 1980s, led to a deeper involvement in this research, and subsequently this book.

I am indebted to Dr. David Taylor of the Department of Political Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, under whose supervision most of the research on which this book is based was carried out. I must express my gratitude to him for his invaluable help and support. Thanks are due to Dr. Sudipta Kaviraj, who as an adjunct supervisor to the thesis offered helpful suggestions on various aspects of this study. I am also grateful to Professor Javeed Alam who patiently looked through the chapters at various points of their preparation and provided insights that clarified my understanding of Hindutva. Professor Tanika Sarkar's suggestions on the dissertation were very useful, and I am indebted to her for sparing time to go through it.

Nalini Vithal and Yoginder Sikand were kind enough to read and comment upon the very first pieces of writing of this work, when it was in its dissertation phase. Kavita, Atul and Amit Singh at Faizabad; Aslesha Shivpuri, Arun Shivpuri along with Mukul Prakash and Sharad Chandra at Lucknow helped immensely during interviews at Faizabad and Lucknow. Annapurna Katju, my grandmother, and Vandana Katju, a dear cousin, have to be thanked for their support during fieldwork at Allahabad. Their presence enabled me to go about my task with minimum difficulties. I am also indebted to Rupinder. Payal and Reena for their help during research at Delhi. My parents, Priti and Rajgopal Katju, and my brothers, Jayant and Siddharth, were great sources or encouragement and support all along.

I am grateful to the Felix Scholarship Trust for granting me overall financial support to read for a PhD at the School of Oriental and African studies, without which this work would not have seen its present form. Thanks are also due to the Central Research Fund, the School of Oriental and African Studies Fieldwork Fund, Sir Earnest Cassel Trust, the Leche Trust and the Charles Wallace Trust for their financial support during research.

I must than the VHP activists at the organisation's various branches for granting me interviews and access to published material without any hesitation. The interviews with VHP activists, as a part of this research, were conducted during November-December 1993, and from September 1995 to May 1996. The willingness of activists to spare time for interviews and their enthusiasm during discussions helped me a great deal in understanding the VHP. I am grateful also to the Organiser office at Jhandewalan, New Delhi, for giving me access to the journal copies. Thanks are also due to the Staff of the various libraries: SOAS, Senate House (University of London), Jawaharlal Nehru University and Teen Murti, Where would we be without them

I want to add a special word of thanks for the Orient Longman editorial team, especially Nikhil Bhoopal and Priti Anand, for the time they spent on the manuscript to bring it to its present shape.

Of course, the flaws and blunders in this work are my own-however much I would like to, I cannot share them with anyone.

At the end, I must mention that I would; not have overcome my reluctance to give this work for publication had it not been for my husband Aniket. His help and encouragement at every coherent shape. His help in going through the various parts of mention his perseverance during tense and moody phases. This work owes a lot to him and it dedicated to him.

CONTENTS
List of Tablesvi
Prefacevii
Abbreviationsix
1Introduction1
2The Early Years5
3Transition to Mass Activism33
4A Non-Electoral Actor in Indian Politics61
5Demolishing the Babri Masjid88
6Post-Demolition Consolidation113
7Conversions and Reconversions127
8Conclusion142
Appendix I146
Appendix II154
Appendix III161
Appendix IV163
Appendix V166
Appendix VI169
Appendix VII173
Appendix VIII184

Vishva Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics

Item Code:
IDI509
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2003
Publisher:
ISBN:
812502476X
Size:
8.7" X 5.6
Pages:
186
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 355 gms
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$32.50
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From the Jacket

Vishva Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics provides a detailed historical account of the VHP, one of the leading Organisations in the Hindutva movement. It focuses on the VHP's transformation from a loosely knit body of Hindus aimed at preserving and promoting Hindu dharma, into a mass organisation actively involved in mobilizing the urban middle classes, service professional and religious leaders for the creation and promotion of a strong Hindu nation.

In elaborating this transformation, Manjari Katju specifically looks at: the VHP's programmes immediately prior to the demolition of the Babri Mosque and in its immediate aftermath; the aggressive and communal idiom employed by it during the nineties; its contestation of the secular structure of the Indian state; its negative politicization of the activities of the Christian missionaries; and, crucially, the changing relations between the VHP and the RSS, on the one hand, and the BJP on the other, which informs the analysis of this transformation.

Rich in empirical data, the book contains extensive quotations from fifty interviews carried out for this study, including those with central figures in the VHP such as Praveen Togadia and Ashok Singhal and members of related Organisations. For all those who seek to know more about the VHP and to understand the ideological and political space occupied by Hindutva in recent years, this book is a must read.

About the Author

Manjari Katju is currently Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Hyderabad. She did her doctoral research at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Dr Katju received the Dr D. C. Pavate Fellowship to conduct research at the Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge in 2002.

Preface

Vishva Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics is a revised and condensed version of my doctoral dissertation. The Vishva Hindu Parishad and Hindu Nationalism: 1964 to 1996, that was submitted to the School or Oriental and African Studies, London, in 1998. The spectacular expansion of the popular base of Hindu nationalist politics in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the centrality of the Vishva Hindu Parishad-or the World Hindu Council, henceforth the VHP-in it, spurred my interest in the VHP organisation. The close association of my grandfather, Shiv Nath Katju (1910-1996) with the VHP, first as a member and then as its president in the late 1980s, led to a deeper involvement in this research, and subsequently this book.

I am indebted to Dr. David Taylor of the Department of Political Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, under whose supervision most of the research on which this book is based was carried out. I must express my gratitude to him for his invaluable help and support. Thanks are due to Dr. Sudipta Kaviraj, who as an adjunct supervisor to the thesis offered helpful suggestions on various aspects of this study. I am also grateful to Professor Javeed Alam who patiently looked through the chapters at various points of their preparation and provided insights that clarified my understanding of Hindutva. Professor Tanika Sarkar's suggestions on the dissertation were very useful, and I am indebted to her for sparing time to go through it.

Nalini Vithal and Yoginder Sikand were kind enough to read and comment upon the very first pieces of writing of this work, when it was in its dissertation phase. Kavita, Atul and Amit Singh at Faizabad; Aslesha Shivpuri, Arun Shivpuri along with Mukul Prakash and Sharad Chandra at Lucknow helped immensely during interviews at Faizabad and Lucknow. Annapurna Katju, my grandmother, and Vandana Katju, a dear cousin, have to be thanked for their support during fieldwork at Allahabad. Their presence enabled me to go about my task with minimum difficulties. I am also indebted to Rupinder. Payal and Reena for their help during research at Delhi. My parents, Priti and Rajgopal Katju, and my brothers, Jayant and Siddharth, were great sources or encouragement and support all along.

I am grateful to the Felix Scholarship Trust for granting me overall financial support to read for a PhD at the School of Oriental and African studies, without which this work would not have seen its present form. Thanks are also due to the Central Research Fund, the School of Oriental and African Studies Fieldwork Fund, Sir Earnest Cassel Trust, the Leche Trust and the Charles Wallace Trust for their financial support during research.

I must than the VHP activists at the organisation's various branches for granting me interviews and access to published material without any hesitation. The interviews with VHP activists, as a part of this research, were conducted during November-December 1993, and from September 1995 to May 1996. The willingness of activists to spare time for interviews and their enthusiasm during discussions helped me a great deal in understanding the VHP. I am grateful also to the Organiser office at Jhandewalan, New Delhi, for giving me access to the journal copies. Thanks are also due to the Staff of the various libraries: SOAS, Senate House (University of London), Jawaharlal Nehru University and Teen Murti, Where would we be without them

I want to add a special word of thanks for the Orient Longman editorial team, especially Nikhil Bhoopal and Priti Anand, for the time they spent on the manuscript to bring it to its present shape.

Of course, the flaws and blunders in this work are my own-however much I would like to, I cannot share them with anyone.

At the end, I must mention that I would; not have overcome my reluctance to give this work for publication had it not been for my husband Aniket. His help and encouragement at every coherent shape. His help in going through the various parts of mention his perseverance during tense and moody phases. This work owes a lot to him and it dedicated to him.

CONTENTS
List of Tablesvi
Prefacevii
Abbreviationsix
1Introduction1
2The Early Years5
3Transition to Mass Activism33
4A Non-Electoral Actor in Indian Politics61
5Demolishing the Babri Masjid88
6Post-Demolition Consolidation113
7Conversions and Reconversions127
8Conclusion142
Appendix I146
Appendix II154
Appendix III161
Appendix IV163
Appendix V166
Appendix VI169
Appendix VII173
Appendix VIII184
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